Pros Great sound quality, Finally Jawbone earbuds that fit!, accelerometer functions are nice, good volume, excellent platform for improvements in the future
Cons Website to use for updates is a bit clunky. You seem to have to use the web interface, and a computer, to be able to access all of the functions on the device...can't make all changes simply via the device.
Summary I'm a gadget guy and have owned several, high end bluetooth headsets. My most recent headsets were the Jawbones (Original and Prime, didn't do Icon), Motorola HX1, BlueAnt Q2, Plantronics Pro, and now the Jawbone ERA. I was thinking about the Motorola Finity, but I have an iPhone4, and there are known (and yet unresolved) issues with that headset and the iPhone4.
I liked the original Jawbone and thought that each subsequent iteration got worse in fit and quality...so much so that I left the Jawbone line and went to the newer headsets. The BlueAnt Q2 was great, had a great voice interaction system, but was kind of flimsy and wasn't loud enough. The Motorola HX1 had only average sound quality and the bone conduction technology wasn't ready for prime time (I sounded garbled and muddy to the other folks on the calls). The Plantronics Pro was the biggest form factor, but was also the most comfortable and had the best sound quality...until now.
I decided to give the Jawbones another try, and the Era was just being reviewed. The devices shipped on Jan23 to retail stores, and I picked mine up from a local Best Buy on Jan24...so any reviews by consumers (and not media/press) was pretty much speculation up to now.
The sound quality is very good! Previously i have had trouble getting loud, clear sound from BT headsets. This one sounds plenty loud and clear in my ear. Also, I like the secure fit of the in-ear/hook-less setup. There were a ton of other earbuds and an ear hook in the package, but using the big, in-ear earbud fits very securely for me. This is the first time, from all of the other headsets that i've tried, where the headset can fit snugly without the ear loop.
The accelerometer functions (TapTap, specifically), works nicely. Although I feel like I'm tapping my Star Trek communicator, it is a very cool feature, and one that works well. Oh yeah, you can't activate that function until you connect your headset to a computer and manage the options via on-device software. It's nice that there is a platform where you can enhance/fix functionality, but I don't like that some of the functions seem to only be available via a web interface and your connected headset. I'd rather be able to manipulate all of the functions of the device without HAVING to use a computer.
My tests so far have gone very well. While driving over coarse road, where people on the phone have noted that they could hear the roadnoise in the background (with my most recent Plantronics Pro), could not hear anything and noted that I sounded crystal clear with the Jawbone Era. I've also had positive comments about just sounding crystal clear in general in other phone tests.
So far, so good. Of course there will be more tests upcoming, but I'm very pleased with the purchase so far.
Pros It's $20 less than the Bose. Ability to enter caller ID names with numbers. Multiple ear fit pieces.
Cons Very uncomfortable. Tried all 5 different ear pieces. Very stiff. Not comfort fitting at all. Sound quality was less than the Bose. Reception was poor at more than 5-8 feet away.
Summary Here's the story. I bought the Bose bluetooth last weekend at Best Buy. I really liked the Bose but the comments from the Best Buy clerk bugged me all week. She praised and praised the Jawbone Era. Yesterday I exchanged the Bose for the Era. I have used this device for little more than a day. I've tried all 5 different ear fittings. Nothing even come CLOSE to the comfort of the Bose. I actually laid down in the bed Monday evening and it wasn't until I rolled over before I realized I had left the Bose in my ear. It's that comfortable. I don't really agree with CNET's average review on the device. I think it's the best bluetooth I've put in my ear period. Sorry Jawbone, but I'm returning you to Best Buy tomorrow and re-purchasing the Bose. It's well worth the $20 extra bucks.
Pros Good size (almost too small), good sound, great battery & charge time, options galore for a headset
Cons Beware of the hype on its ability and options that must be signed up for. See review for fine print. Some things may not be all Cons, just not as straight forward as you may think
Summary This is a high rating for what I give products. My 4 stars may stem from my only other BT comparison, The Original Jawbone. It worked good for me, but it was bulky, volume was ok and earbuds/loops had to be replaced. I actually would have given this 1/2 a star "more" if I had been able to further learn of some of the issues with this headset. I am not that negative, just picky.
Pros- As I said, this headset works well as a headset. It connects quick, turns on easy, sounds very clear (from both ends of the call) and lasts quite a long time. You can hit the only button to get battery life and toggle thru volume (I know....redundant) Music is clear and switching between calls is just "two taps of the headset". Again, good headset, but see what I have to say next to help your decision.
- Phone. I have a samsung sgh a897 aka Mystic (see my review if you like). Some of the issues are specific to being paired with this phone. Therefore, I cannot speak of the iphone battery app, etc
- Cons- luckily the headset fits fairly well in my ear on its own. I like having an earloop, but the single flimsy earloop takes some acclimating to put on, so unless I plan on running or being out for a while, I just leave it off. I have some connectivity issue. Once or twice a week, my 1st call says I'm connected but myself & the person cannot hear a thing. The fix is I have to turn off the set, establish a conversation & switch it back on. Sort of annoying. Now the hype....The MyTalk Account you must set up to customize the headset is slow (as metioned by others). The Caller ID Name part must be mannually entered in to MyTalk and it limited to 10 phone numbers. I have yet to get the names to be said. However, all incoming calls have the phone number stated. It is nice to customize the voice that alerts you of calls, etc. 8 different voices but just a few other languages. The propriety (only button) can, at this time, work for 1 function at a time. Here is my delemna. My phone has voice dailing. The headset knows that. When I press & hold, I get my voice dailing options. However, I signed up for Dial2Do (an option necessary for TEXT by Voice) The account is free for 1 year, but you have to leave a credit card to use the text. You get a 20 sec recording that is transcribed and sent to the recipient(s). Dial2Do is pretty helpful, but is also can be a proprietary function. Therefore, if I want to use both, I have to leave Voice Dailing as my main option & use it to call the Dial2Do phone number to access Dial2Do functions. Other options are available (see the MyTalk part of the Jawbone website to get examples. At this time, you are limited to certain tasks with this headset if you want the "extra" functions. Maybe with the ability to upgrade, things may change. For now, it is a great headset, that can do alot of little things, just not a lot of everything it says it can do, all at once. Hope this helps
Pros can't tell you
Cons As every Jawbone I had before - seems like it was designed to fit to some alien life form...
Summary So I got the Jawbone 2, prime and the Icon.
In each case I ended up either using the Jabra Ear gel Modification or the ear loop.
With the loop you constantly need to readjust the piece so the sensor will sit correctly.
You can't put it in your pocket - because the flimsy plastic will break
You can't keep it on your ear - because the cheap loop irritates your ear
With the looped (no hook) ear tips - I can't even get it to stay in my ear or if I use the huge one it will start to hurt after a while.
I am done paying $120 for an earpiece just to order more gels and more hooks and get annoyed.
In addition to the above it seems like every year, just around the time the new model is coming out - the old one starts failing and performance degrade.
It makes me so furious because it seems like the people at Aliph said you know what we made a good (electronically) unit so we don't really have to care about the ear tips and fitting.
The keep pushing the same junk ear tips since the original one (with minor ""improvements"") but never bothered to look in their own blog and listen to the many users that complain about the fit.
Are Bose, Sound ID, Blue Ant, Plantronics, Jabra and Motorola made on another planet?
Pros Feature Rich, Audio Quality, NO CONNECTIVITY ISSUES, Sturdy build, battery life. Best bluetooth headset on the market right now.
Cons I havent had as much trouble with comfort as many but I will admit I have had other headsets that were more comfortable. A dedicated volume rocker or buttons would be nice but its not much of a hassle. No other cons.
Summary This review is in comparison after trying both the jawbone era and the bose series 2 headset. Audio quality was a tie but volume control is more convenient on the bose. The bose clearly wins when it comes to comfort. I could barely even tell it was in my ear and it seemed very secure, although I do not mind the fit of the jawbone. On all other counts the jawbone dominates, including connectivity which was most important to me. Earlier I stated that the bose had amazing audio quality, which it did, where it slouched was its performance delivering my voice to the other end of the call. I believe my mic was faulty and about 60% of the time would not pick up my voice. Normally I would think this was a fluke but after reading multiple other reviews I have noticed this is happening a lot. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth when you pay $150 for something as big as your knuckle and it works incorrectly. The Jawbone Era has had no problems in this respect, my calls have been crystal clear on both ends. Not to mention the fact that the bose was a barebones device as far as features. The Era's voice caller ID paired with voice commands and vlingo InCar = My phone does not have to leave my pocket. The 6 Hr battery life (sporadic conversations and podcasts) absolutely obliterats the bose 4 hr battery life and also the bose can take up to 3 hrs to fully charge whereas the Era takes 30 mins for an %80 charge and 60 mins for a full charge. I do think that these 2 headsets are the leaders of the pack but I also think there is a decisive winner. Here's the beauty of it too, its the cheaper of the 2. No brainer.